There is some serious poetry in the act of leaping into the unknown
and beginning something wildly new
and leaving everyone and everything familiar behind
to set foot on a new continent
feeling the whole time like you might burst if you stay and go crazy if you go so either way…
Everything I told myself before I’d leave– that I’d have no preconceived notions, but experience it purely for what it was– seems so silly and naive now. Going to Ghana was something I’d dreamt about for ages, so I had plenty of hopes and expectations for what it would be like. There’s no fool proof way to prepare yourself.
I wanted to GO BODLY. I felt like to be fearless would mean I’d succeeded, and gone sufficiently boldly.
I went to Ghana in November of 2012, as a sort of gap year, “what am I doing with my life” sort of thing. I was going to live in Accra the first month and volunteer at a rural school the later 4 months, to experience a foreign culture and learn as much as I could. I am glad I gave myself time to think about the experience because I can admit things now to myself that I couldn’t then, mainly that it was INTENSE.
If you aren’t a little bit terrified to go live in a new culture, by yourself, in a developing country, leaving someone you happen to be madly in love with for five months, then you’re probably doing it wrong. Those months were hard and I felt like I’d failed at times, because I felt lonely and overwhelmed. Euphoric and excited too, but definitely overwhelmed.
WHAT A RELIEF it was to discover that was okay. It is just as important to experience loneliness as it is to say, “actually, I need people I know and love to be with me” — and to do something because it is wonderful, and not just because it is hard.
Getting on a plane and just seeing what happens is AMAZING!